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Colorado's Smith still coming to terms with pre-season weather

Colorado Rapids midfielder/forward Jamie Smith says he is still coming to terms with the weather during pre-season for the MLS season.

The Scotland native joined the Rapids last season after spending the first 12 years of his career in his homeland and although you would have thought he would be used to training in snow, he says it is still hard to get used to.

"Pre-season in America is different from the way it is back in the UK," he wrote in his blog for stv.

"To begin with, training in the States takes place in the winter and it lasts for nine weeks. Back home, pre-season lasts for five or six weeks and happens in July.

"We started back around mid-January and, although most of the players returned fit, we had to go through a tough programme. With below freezing temperatures and double sessions on a plastic turf, it wasn't long before the adverse effects took their toll on the body."

The Rapids then took a trip to London to make use of English Premier League club Arsenal's facilities and Smith said it was a vast improvement on what the squad had trained with in the States.

"After a week back in Denver, we then made the transatlantic crossing to London for a week of practice at the new Arsenal training ground," he added. "The complex is really astounding. It's so good in fact, that I am considering taking my family there for next years summer holiday!"

And Smith said it was the level that MLS clubs like the Rapids should be aspiring to.

"Spending time training at such a place as Arsenal's complex made me think of the differences between football in the UK compared to the MLS," he added further. "I know it might seem unfair to draw comparisons with the MLS, and I guess most teams in world football against the global brand that is Arsenal FC, but surely it's the level that every club wants to reach?"

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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